Meet the Instructor – Julia Benben


Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the past several weeks, we’ve introduced you to some of our Workshop instructors so you could hear about their live classes and what you could expect to learn from them.

Last, but certainly not least, today we meet Julia Benben!

Has your store hopped on the adult coloring bandwagon? Take Julia’s Workshop, Color Therapy – Learn How To Use Chameleon Pens to Drive Sales In The Growing Trend Of Adult Coloring, to learn how Chameleon Pens are great additions to your product line for this growing customer base.

Plus, Julia will lead a second Workshop, Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens, where you’ll learn how to master difficult coloring techniques and more about Chameleon Pens’ ability to blend colors.

Keep reading for more about what you will take away from her Workshop.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Julia Benben. I’ve been in the art and craft industry for almost 20 years. I started out as an on-air craft presenter on QVC for toys, home décor and crafts, but quickly fell in love with and got hooked on the craft side of the business.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I attended my first Show back in 1999 when it was HIA. I have attended pretty much every year since!

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show? 

The MEGA Block Party! Just kidding J. As much fun as the MEGA Block Party is, I actually love the fact that I get to meet up with all the great creative and like-minded people in the industry, and share new products, ideas and techniques in person! So much of what I do with the folks I work with is over Skype or email. There is no substitute for the personal face-to-face interaction.

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

Workshops are well worth attending for your business. They give you an opportunity to learn new and creative things about craft products and projects. Also, they offer a chance for you to chat about industry trends as well as what is working for your peers! Between seeing new things, finding out what is on trend and connecting with your industry counterparts – and doing it all in one place – they’re very efficient, and fun!

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Buyers need to understand the hands-on experience of the products and projects their customers are buying. This knowledge makes them more capable of troubleshooting, understanding the key benefits and structuring selling to the end user; plus, it gives them ideas on how to cross promote with other products that they currently sell.

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

We really keep a close eye on what is trending by following social media conversations and talking to all our buyers and distributors. This helps us create projects that are timely for what the customer in your store is looking for!

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran? 

Get in there and TRY some stuff! Don’t prejudge an item by what others might have said. Experience products for yourself and make your own call on what you like and dislike about items. I hear people chatting in the aisles, “Did you see anything exciting”…“No … not really” – that is their view. I know when I walk around, when I really take the time to look, I find cool, creative and innovative stuff everywhere. You just have to be open to it and take the time to look closely.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

The creativity, innovative ideas, pioneering spirit and dedication of the people involved.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

Chugging along and coming up with new stuff every year. As technology and trends change so does the sort of things people do for crafts and creative outlets.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

Nadine. The staff is great to work with!

Register to take Julia’s Workshops, Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens and Color Therapy – Learn How To Use Chameleon Pens to Drive Sales In The Growing Trend Of Adult Coloring, and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out!

Thanks for tuning in for our Meet the Instructor blog series! Click here to read all of the blog posts in this series.

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